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The Verdict Is In: Apple Has Siri-ously Gone Bananas

Eric McBride
4

 

WOW. That’s pretty much all I can say after hearing about Apple and their latest demand to Samsung. I mean, Apple has gone so kookoo for cocoa puffs with this absolutely insane demand that I really wonder if they have a few screws loose. Apple is currently seeking a whopping 2.5 BILLION dollars from Samsung for patent infringement, which quite honestly, is nothing surprising coming from Apple. But what’s the patent in question? Brace yourselves...overscroll bounce. Nothing hardware related, search related, or design related. Oh no. That would make too much sense. Overscroll bounce folks (if you’re not sure what that is, I’ll explain below). But it gets better.

What the hell is overscroll bounce?

For those of you who don’t know what overscroll bounce is, (also known as the rubber-banding patent) its basically an elastic like bounce effect you see on a phone when you pull down on a screen and the text pops up, or “bounces” back to the top. This 13 second Youtube video shows the effect (Youtube link here):

No before I go on, let me make something clear first. The patent for overscroll bounce DOES apparently belong to Apple. Motorola admitted to infringing on this patent back in March, and removed it from their devices. Although the patent itself is already in a “grey zone” according to Google, anyone who isn’t Apple should simply remove it until more clarity on the legality of the patent is found. What I find absolutely bat**it crazy is that while Apple simply forced Motorola to remove the feature, they demand Samsung (who just so happens to make the only smartphone that poses a dangerous threat to the iPhone) pay a whopping 2.52 BILLION dollars for using the effect (along with 3 others).

Additional damages

But it’s not just overscroll bounce that Apple wants hundreds of millions of restitution for. Foss Patents reports that they are demanding $2.02 per device using the overscroll bounce effect, $3.10 for a “scrolling API” patent, $2.02 for “tap to zoom and navigate”, and $24 for use of any of Apple’s design patents or trade dress rights.

Now granted, if patents were infringed, fair enough. I’m not saying Apple doesn’t have a right to protect its patents. I’m no fanboy. Tim Cook recently said in an interview that “It is important for Apple not to be the developer for the world. We just want other people to invent their own stuff”. Again, if those words weren't coming out of the lawsuit spamming Apple Inc, I would say fair enough. But I don't think that it's really the patents that are the real issue here. What seriously bothers me is a bit deeper than that.

The motive should also be in question, not just the patent

Look at the patents in question here (especially overscroll bounce). How many people even realize that their iPhone or Android device has that “feature”? Granted, that doesn’t give you the right to use it without permission/licensing fees. But tell me this...does Android’s notification feature set it apart from the iPhone? It certainly does! That’s part of what makes Android Android right? Interestingly enough, Google never sued Apple for completely copying it and smacking it into IOS did they? Did Google sue Apple over copying their Quick Reply feature and adding it to IOS 6?

The point I’m trying to make is this: Apple wouldn’t give a DAMN about overscroll if SAMSUNG wasn’t using it. They are simply employing below the belt tactics in a pathetic effort to keep their biggest competitor at bay. If Motorola simply had to remove overscroll bounce via an OTA fix, why can’t Samsung do the same? Why the 2.5 billion dollar penalty?

Apple simply wants Samsung out of the way

The Galaxy Tab 10.1 (and today yet another Samsung Tablet) was banned in Germany for “looking too much like an iPad”. Interesting. Now I previously owned a Galaxy Tab 10.1 for a year, and now I have an Asus Transformer Prime, and I can honestly tell you that the Galaxy Tab 10.1 looks nothing like an iPad. The Transformer Prime however, looks EXACTLY like an iPad, and even uses the same bevels and curves of the iPad 2 to a tee. How come Apple never sued Asus over the Prime or newly announced Infinity tablet? Could the reason be that Asus doesn’t pose a threat to Apple and isn’t selling millions of Transformer Primes the way that Apple sells iPads?

To put it bluntly, Apple simply wants to stop Samsung from innovating...period. Samsung has made some amazing products that consumers undeniably love, and Apple simply can’t stand it. Sure, HTC and Motorola have also had their scuffles with Apple, but nothing in comparison to the amounts of damage that Apple is desperately trying to inflict on Samsung. They simply cannot deal with the fact that Android devices have achieved such success, and they demonstrate that with their silly antics and childish behavior on an almost monthly basis.

Bottom line

Samsung will have to fess up on using this patent, and quite honestly, that’s fine. But for Apple to honestly believe that such features are worth 2.5 billion dollars is simply bonkers. I’m no lawyer, but I’m also willing to bet money that the courts won’t either, and that they are quickly getting tired of this childsplay

And if a patent like overscroll bounce IS literally worth hundreds of millions of dollars of damages, Google should demand about..oh I don’t know...at least 50 billion from Apple for copying their trademark notification system.

My apologies for the rant guys. I’m gonna head down to the patent office now and purchase the patent for urinating downwards.

Update: Apple already patented it. I will start peeing up as of today.

Picture credits: allthingsd.com, media.merchantcircle.com, and edibleapple.com (combined and edited by myself)

Youtube video: fry152blog's Youtube channel

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Comments

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  • Josh jackson Jul 24, 2012 Link

    This is a ridiculous amount requested however its not about the money is about teaching Samsung a lesson about copying the apple. Coming from a evo lye user I can go nearly say It'svery obvious Samsung has been blatantly copying.just look how they try to compete with apple in almost every category, first with the design and icon look of the original galaxy, then of course the galaxy player, s voice etc.the list goes on. Now there's no doubt other competitors have been inspired by apple as well but Samsung has taken it to the next level. And they have been successful in doing so.now I do believe the amounts are a little outrageous however our looks more like they're trying to teach Samsung a lesson.

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  • Eric McBride Jul 24, 2012 Link

    I see your point Josh (and thanks for reading :-D), and I ll be the last person to state that Apple has never innovated. Our cell phones would ALL look like Blackberry's if it weren't for Steve Jobs.

    What I do question however, is why Apple picks and chooses. Motorola does the same, but is not slapped with a billion dollar fine. Samsung is though. The Galaxy tablet example is a perfect one. That tablet in no way shape or form resembles an iPad, yet tablets from Asus and Acer do. They however aren't punished for copying.

    All that considered, Apple is just as guilty as copying themselves, which can be clearly seen in IOS 5 and IOS 6. Google (thankfully) doesnt have the same "lets sue the hell out of each other" attitude that Apple does. Software patents in many cases these days simply don't make sense, and Apple is the biggest proof of that. Sue for copying technology, code, UI, or whatever you please. But overscroll bounce? Really? Lots of nerve doing that, especially considering all the things they "borrowed" from Android.

    I must say though, that if things like overscroll bounce are something that Apple will attempt to use to "punish" Android devices that are doing well with consumers, that I do hope to see Google get just as aggressive as Apple in the future when it comes to patent infringement. Two can naturally play at that game.

    I really do see your point on copying, but I also firmly believe that Apple simply isn't ready to admit that they can accept having a real competitor, especially if that competitor is Android. Steve Jobs despised Android, and I don't believe we will EVER see the day that Apple can keep an open mind and embrace Android as a reason to further innovation, not stifle it.

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  • Stan Jez Jul 24, 2012 Link

    Agree with you 110% .
    I wonder if it's remotely possible that Samsung (or others) are innovating some extraordinary feature that will one day catch Apple off guard and the tables turned. Considering the huge leap in android quality over last year (enough to worry Apple) I wouldn't be at all surprised. Bring on the Apple juice.

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  • Eric McBride Jul 24, 2012 Link

    I was thinking about that earlier when I wrote the article as well! I think that as much as Android has improved, that day will come a lot sooner than later.

    Bring on the Apple sauce :-D

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